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Neuroendocrine Function in Medical Illness and Psychiatric Disorders  



Project Description

Saliva provides a medium for assessing the function of the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis that is relatively noninvasive from the patient's/subject's perspective. We are collecting saliva samples from a variety of study groups, including astronauts during flight missions, caregivers of several groups of cancer patients, American Indians with posttraumatic stress disorder, premature infants on a NICU, autistic children, and typical and atypical adolescent populations. These studies offer an opportunity to interact with other investigators as well. From these saliva samples, we can follow diurnal variations in cortisol and dehydroepiandrostone (DHEA). The student will have an opportunity to learn about subject recruitment, survey research, and assessment of diurnal variation in steroid hormones as stress markers. Students will be involved in data entry and analysis to the extent that they are interested in this process. Directed reading will be included allowing the student(s) to appreciate the research problem(s) we are addressing in this laboratory. The students will be required to complete human subjects research training if they have not completed it at this time.

Mentor Name

Laudenslager, Mark

Mentor Location

University North Pavilion

Mentor Contact Number


Mentor Contact Email  


Enter Choice #1

Preceptor Name






Funding Department/Program

Psychiatry and Developmental Neuroscience

Area of Study

Developmental Neuroscience, Brain and Behavior - Child; Hematology and Oncology; Neuroscience, Brain and Behavior - Adult


Adolescents; Infants; Native Americans; School-age Children


Behavioral; Clinical Trials; Hormonal; Surveys, Questionnaires, and Psychological Testing; Talking and Behavior Therapies

Disease or Symptom

Cancer; Mental Illness and Developmental Disabilities; Stress

Faculty/Lab Website


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Created at 9/3/2010 9:45 AM by Vetter, Stephanie
Last modified at 7/31/2013 1:04 PM by Watts, Katie